Director's Corner on The End of the School Year, Already?

Five weeks (!) is how many weeks of school are left of the 2013-14 school year. Families are planning for summer break; teachers are preparing for the May conferences while pondering, not without trepidation, over how much more they want to cover before the end of May; our Florida History theme is in full swing; and middle schoolers are leaving for Earthskills Rendezvous. Expect home conference material and assessment forms in your parents folder soon and be on the look out for conferences sign-up sheets. Please leave room on your agenda for these conferences on Monday, May 5th or Tuesday, May 6th, for the Walkabout Reception on the evening of Wednesday, May 14th, and for Graduation Day at Silver Lake on Wednesday, May 28th. This is a busy joyful time to reflect on and celebrate what was learned so far, keep on learning until the last day of school, and plan for more learning to come.

Those of us with a child in public school know that students at The Magnolia School are fortunate. This could be the time to stop all instruction and concentrate on the FCAT and/or End-of-Course exams. Some public school teachers  complain that as much as 1/3 of school days are devoted to test-related activities instead of instruction, a proportion we hope to be an exaggeration. We continue to think that the individualized assessments we provide are more meaningful than the results of a standardized test, and that training for a standardized test is a waste of instructional time. We are far from being alone in this opinion. Here are a couple of links you may find interesting:

15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests are Worthless

Private schools' FCAT fears mirror frustrations of Florida parents